A Closer Examination of Family Group Decision Making in
Welfare Legislation Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act
(“AACWA”), seeking to strengthen and improve the program of
federal support for the care of needy and dependent children.105 This
legislation was an effort to adequately look after and support children
in foster care, as well as move toward permanency.106 However, the
concept of permanency was merely insinuated and was not
adequately defined in the Act.107 In 1997, the passage of the
Adoption and Safe Families Act (“ASFA”) sought to promote stable
and permanent environments for children in the child welfare system
and to increase the attention child welfare agencies gave to
identifying and recruiting kinship placements for children.108
Licensing kin to act as foster parents varies greatly from state
to state, as does the frequency with which state foster care agencies
pursue voluntary kinship arrangements.109 Available data indicates
that kinship caregivers tend to receive less supervision and fewer
services than non-kin caregivers.110 Additionally, kinship foster
parents tend to be older and have lower incomes, are in poorer health,
and are less educated than non-kin foster parents.111 In some cases
where kin are identified as potential caregivers, they may not be
required to complete licensing standards or other requirements.112
Although licensing requirements for kinship caregivers in most states
are less stringent than requirements for non-kin caregivers, the
majority of states will not offer payments to kin who are licensed
105 Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-272, 94
106 John E.B. Myers, A Short History of Child Protection in America, 42 FAM. L.Q.
449, 459 (2008).
107 See Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-272,
94 Stat. 500.
108 Geen, supra note 97, at 137; Myers, supra note 106, at 460.
109 Geen, supra note 97, at 138.
110 Id. at 131.
112 Id. at 137.